Italy honors general director of Turkish Opera and Ballet
Murat Karahan, tenor and general director of the Turkish Opera and Ballet (DOB), has been awarded the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy.
A ceremony was held at the Italian Embassy in Ankara to present the award. Italy’s Ambassador to Ankara Massimo Gaiani said that Karahan is a world-renowned artist and is followed with great admiration in Italy.
Pointing out that Karahan has created a cultural bridge between Turkey and Italy, Gaiani said, “Karahan is the best Italian ambassador in Turkey, the best Turkish ambassador in Italy.”
During his speech in both Italian and Turkish, Karahan expressed the honor he felt to be awarded the medal.
Stating that there are deep-rooted relations between Turkey and Italy and that there are similarities between the peoples of sister countries from characters to lifestyle and physical characteristics to cuisine, Karahan said that the relations in the field of culture and art always progressed very strongly.
“From the diplomatic relations between Italy and the Ottoman Empire dating back to 1856 to this special position that continues today, it is also a reason for my happiness to be able to contribute to the field of opera, which is my professional field,” he said.
Karahan stated that his professional bond with Italy, which started as a student in 2009, extended to the leading roles in opera performances in many Italian cities.
“The complementary articles of the Italian press after the performances are the driving forces that increase motivation. Especially before the 2019 Arena di Verona Festival, the full-page interview with the title ‘Italy’s Turk’ in la Repubblica has a special place. After the pandemic, taking the lead role in the opera Cavalleria Rusticana, the opening performance of the same festival, is definitely among my unforgettable memories,” he said.
“I accept this special award as a concrete symbol of deep-rooted communication, cultural cooperation and friendship between the two countries. I bow down respectfully in the spiritual presence of the great [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk. I would like to thank you again with the wish of being together in times full of art.”
After Gaiani presented the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, Karahan performed an aria.